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  • Writer's pictureMike Brandly, Auctioneer

3 weeks of consecutive advertising?

Many states have laws from the 1960s and before stating that certain auctions must be advertised, “3 consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the county where the property is located” or something similar.

Some jurisdictions have more recently permitted online (Internet) advertising to substitute for newspaper advertising. Nonetheless, what is 3 weeks of advertising? How much prior to an auction is this 3 weeks?

To answer this question, we pose another: What if the requirement was 1 week of advertising? If your auction opened for bids June 15 one week “of advertising” would be (at minimum) beginning June 8 ending June 14 — constituting 7 days or one week.

So 2 weeks of advertising would be June 1 ending June 14 and 3 weeks of advertising would be May 25 ending June 14. Therefore it seems to us that advertising for an auction on June 15 requiring 3 weeks of such in a newspaper (or otherwise) … would have to begin May 25.

It does appear that these such statutes did not require 3 weeks of advertising meaning an advertisement for 21 straight days, but rather 3 times, once each week. Nonetheless, auctioneers were advised to always be attentive to the court or other political subdivision as to their particular interpretation.

Further, what about an online auction? While it seems to us that these “weeks of advertising” must be prior to the auction commencing … when do auctions commence? As we have held, an auction commences around the United States when the auctioneer (or online platform/auctioneer) calls for bids.

The Uniform Commerical Code (UCC) § 2-328 uses the words, “calls for bids” in a regard suggesting as soon as the auctioneer suggests (expressed or implied) that bidders may offer, the auction is on.

As such, this would mean an online-only auction starting (accepting bids) June 9 ending June 15 would need advertising starting May 19 to satisfy 3 weeks of advertising. It’s not when the auction ends, but rather when it starts.

Even in the case where an online auction was prepared to accept bids “to be placed” at a subsequent live auction, this deadline would be the same as this threshold isn’t when the bid is made, and rather when bids are formally solicited.

Lastly, some states (and federal agencies) have codified particular timeframes, such as “3 consecutive weeks … with the last of 3 placed no less than 8 days prior to the auction.” Again here, “the auction” would be the moment (date/time) bids are first solicited.

Does your client, court, agency or other require 3 — or another number of weeks of advertising? If so, it’s prudent to correctly calculate these required days to avoid petitions to avoid the sale citing inadequate or insufficient advertising.

Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, CAI, CAS, AARE has been an auctioneer and certified appraiser for over 30 years. His company’s auctions are located at: Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, RES Auction Services and Goodwill Columbus Car Auction. He serves as Distinguished Faculty at Hondros College, Executive Director of The Ohio Auction School, an Instructor at the National Auctioneers Association’s Designation Academy and America’s Auction Academy. He is faculty at the Certified Auctioneers Institute held at Indiana University and is approved by the The Supreme Court of Ohio for attorney education.

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